This week we visited the Rice County Historical Society in Faribault, which was an extremely interesting trip and provided some good information for starting our fieldwork in the arb. I was personally interested in the indigenous history of the area and was fascinated by the story of Alexander Faribault and how he was half Native American. I enjoyed looking at the different indigenous artifacts found in the area, including pottery, tools, arrowheads, and clothing. I was most interested in the pottery, as it had specific markings and told a lot about the different kinds of tools people used to make them. I liked the recreation of an indigenous settlement that showed what it might have looked like and what the landscape looked like before white settlers arrived. I would be interested to know more about the indigenous history in this area and the different kinds of artifacts found that point to indigenous settlement.
This week we participated in a field survey of the lower arb farm dump. This was the first time that I’ve done a terrestrial survey, so it was a new experience for me. We lined ourselves up five meters apart and then walked parallel to each other, noting what we found on the ground. Since it was a farm dump, there was a variety of objects on the surface including old cans, ceramic plates, and a barrage of glass artifacts. We made sure to bag the things that we found of interest. While it was difficult to navigate the terrain, as we were walking through thick brush and forest, it was a fun experience and beneficial to understanding archaeological methods. I particularly liked how I was able to find objects that were more than just a few years old, and that there were glass objects with writing on them, including the dates they were made. I think it will be interesting to study these objects to see what we can find out about the area.